And Jesus Went With Him
Jairus was the ruler of the synagogue of his hometown that was located in Capernaum or very near it. The ruler of the synagogue was a prestigious position. He was a lay person elected as one of the synagogue rulers (a synagogue could have more than one ruler… Ac. 13:15). The synagogue rulers were responsible for supervising worship services, caring for the scrolls, running the weekly school, keeping the congregation faithful to the Law, distributing alms, and administering the care of the building. There was no permanent rabbi or teacher, so the synagogue rulers often would ask visiting teachers to teach. Regardless of how important Jairus was, death is not a respecter of persons. Death comes to people of rank, with or without religion, and those of reputation. Jairus had all three, but he was no exception. Death came a visiting.
As a father, he found himself in a position for which he was unprepared. His only daughter was at the point of death due to an unknown illness. He wasn’t prepared for this mentally or spiritually. Matthew, Mark, nor Luke don’t tell us if he sought medical help for her before coming to seek the help of Jesus. How long had she been sick isn’t known. Her illness was so serious that Jairus risked his rank, his reputation among the Pharisees, and set aside his religious differences with Jesus to seek His help for his daughter. He did this knowing that Jesus showed no respect of persons and that He had a reputation for having a heart for the sick. But Jairus was desperate, and desperation will cause one to do strange things. So, he sought Him out, found Him, and simply told Him, “My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live” (v. 23). The faith of this father moved the heart of the Lord because Mark said, “And Jesus went with him” (v. 24). In what ways did the Lord go with Jairus?
Jesus went with Jairus in life’s distresses. Anxiety, strain, pressure, suffering is an unfortunate part of life, and this miracle, recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke emphasizes this reality in a dramatic way. Matthew said in his account that Jesus “followed him” (Mt. 9:19). Luke simply said, “But as he went,” that is, as Jesus went (Lk. 8:43). Mark alone stated tenderly that “Jesus went with him.” Jesus and Jairus walking and surrounded by a throng of people. The Son of God and the ruler of the synagogue, what a contrast in men!
Jairus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Jair, which means “he will awaken; whom He enlightens”. The Lord was using this life distress, the death of this young girl, to awaken the soul of Jairus and enlighten him as to the truth that Jesus is God. He is the eternal “I Am,” Jesus Christ is Emmanuel, “God with us” (Mt. 1:20-23). The human element and Divine side are harmonized together when Jesus went with Jairus. We can’t go it alone. We need Jesus, the Lord God, to go with us whenever and in whatever distress comes upon us.
The momentary peace and hope that Jairus had when Jesus went with him was broken by the great multitude of people hindering their travel and by one individual among hundreds who touched the Lord Jesus. The incident of the woman with the issue of blood reminds us that circumstances are mostly beyond our control and life doesn’t always go our way. The combination of these two miracles teach us a wonderful truth that Jesus goes with us in life’s delays.
By nature, we are impatient people. Patience is not a virtue desired or admired. Impatience actually brings more woe and sorrow in the midst of an already stressed existence than we realize or even want. Had King Saul only waited for the prophet Samuel to come as he promised to do, the kingdom would never have been stripped from him. Abraham and Sarah were promised a son in their old age, but Isaac’s birth was delayed for some twenty-five years until after she was completely past childbearing years. Hannah was also barren and prayed specifically for a son for years, but it seemed as though God hadn’t heard her cry. When her prayer was answered, she named her son, Samuel, meaning “heard or asked of God”. The prayers of these saints weren’t denied, just delayed. Delays to seeing the will of God fulfilled are intended, oftentimes, for our good and to bring God greater glory. As a cautionary note, let us not be like the evil servant that lived a careless and carefree life because he said, “My lord delayeth his coming” (Mt. 24:48).
Unknown to Jairus he was going to discover this morning that the Lord Jesus would be with him in life and death. As sorrow and fear gripped the heart of the ruler of the synagogue, Jesus looked at Jairus and said thoughtfully and tenderly, “Be not afraid, only believe” (Mk. 5:36). Even the little hope that he had was kindled after the delays in the trip! Taking Jairus and his wife with Him into the house, with Peter, James, and John, they entered the room where the young girl lay dead. And, reaching down Jesus took her hand and said, “Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise” (Mk. 5:41). She arose and she walked (v. 42).
A second miracle was performed in the home that day, but it was in the heart of Jairus. Before this day, he had been a good Jew in keeping the law, respected in the community, trustworthy, devout in his religious activity, knowledgeable of the Scripture, but he hadn’t embraced Jesus as Messiah as Peter, James, and John and hundreds of other had at that time. Or, as millions since then. That changed when he believed He heard Jesus speak and when he saw the miracle of resurrection with his own eyes. “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Ro. 10:17), and he had heard the word and witnessed that in Jesus “was life; and the life was the light of men” (Jn. 1:4). That day Jairus walked through the valley of the shadow of death and understood for the first time what David meant when he said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me” (Ps. 23:4). Jairus believed. Jairus was comforted. Jesus Christ became his rod and staff that day as he saw Him as Lord over life and death.
Is the Lord Jesus walking with you?